Saint Giles Mary-of-Saint-Joseph

Saint Giles Mary-of-Saint-JosephAlso known as

  • Aegidius Mary of Saint Joseph Pontillo
  • Egidio Maria de Saint Giuseppe
  • Egidio Maria da Taranto
  • Egidio Maria of Saint Joseph
  • Francesco Postillo
  • Francis Pontillo
  • Idzi Maria od św. Józefa
  • Saint of the Little Way



Born to a pious family and raised in a small village. When his father died in 1747, Francesco took up the trade of rope maker to support his mother and siblings. Drawn to a religious life, he applied to the Discalced Friars Minor of Saint Peter of Alcantara at Naples, Italy in 1754 at age 25. He wished to become a priest, but lacked the education, and was received as a lay brother.

Porter and gate-keeper at his monastery‘s seminary, a position that put him in constant contact with those in need. He had a special ministry to the sick, and worked with lepers, travelling outside the city to help those who had become shunned and isolated; he often carried an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a depiction known as Our Lady of the Well when he made sick calls. Giles himself suffered from sciatica, which caused severe leg pain, difficulty walking and led to the use of a cane which is often seen in depictions of him; he also suffered from asthma and, late in life, dropsy (fluid retention leading to high blood pressure). Even in life he was considered by locals as a saint and patron of the sick and outcast. Legend says that when he was charged with distributing food and alms to the poor, Saint Joseph would intervene to insure he never ran out.








MLA Citation

  • “Saint Giles Mary-of-Saint-Joseph“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2021. Web. 21 January 2022. <>